ATLANTA — The tragic update of a 7-year-old Atlanta girl who was shot and later died has sparked a city-wide conversation about gun violence and senseless deadly shootings.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner confirmed to 11Alive that Kennedy Maxie died Saturday after spending several days in the hospital fighting for her life.
The little girl was shot near Phipps Plaza as she was riding in the car with her family.
Her family was praying for a Christmas miracle, hoping she would survive. Investigators believe she was hit by a stray bullet. The shooter has not been tracked down or identified yet.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has responded to the tragedy and released a statement:
“Our hearts are broken by the senseless murder of Kennedy. While the Atlanta Police Department has significant leads in the apprehension of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, vibrant, and loving child is tragically taken from her family. We urge the public to continue to provide information that will lead to the arrests of the careless and heartless people responsible for Kennedy’s death.”
Community leader and attorney Gerald Griggs says this is heartbreaking on so many levels, and that something needs to be done immediately to address this issue.
“This is just so profoundly sad to hear this happened," he said. "This underscores what we’ve been talking about for a long time. It’s just one of those times that makes you reflect on what we need to do as a community.”
Griggs hopes city leaders can come together, from elected officials to Atlanta police, to create a task force from a proactive standpoint.
“One thing about Atlanta, we know how to pull together and address problems," he said. "But it’s time for our elected officials to ask for the assistance that is so vitally needed to solving these type of problems."
The community has stepped up to help the family with an online fundraiser page that has raised more than $50,000.
Atlanta Police are still trying to track down who shot the little girl. There is a $15,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.